Originally Posted by Ghost
Borrow some more money and buy good well-fitted boots. Find some shaped skis at the Sally Ann.
I'm as much for well-fitting boots as the next guy, but sometimes I think this forum goes a bit over the top. The kid has skied twice. He's 17, 5'10. 125. His feet might not even be finished growing yet. To borrow money so as to be able to buy $400+ boots seems a little crazy at this point.
Honestly, if I were in his situation, here's what I'd do:
Read on here and learn how to shell fit. Make sure wherever he goes, the person he's working with does it.
Go to the LA ski shops. See how much the low end boots are on sale for now. At his weight and ability, something in the 70-90 flex range would last him for at least a season or two and those are the boots that often end up being cheap. This is best as the sales people are most likely to know their stuff.
If their is nothing there, check REI. The sale staff is more hit or miss, but their website shoes a number of boots in the 200-250 range that would probably fit his needs. I doubt that LA REIs have a great selection at the moment, but they might at least have the measuring device in the store. Beginner lasts aren't very narrow, so if he can get in the right size boot, he probably won't be terribly uncomfortable and while he might not have an absolutely top performance fit, he likely won't notice it yet. If he orders a boot, check the shell fit, wear it around the house for a fair amount of time to check for hot spots. If it obviously is rubbing somewhere, return it. But trust the shell fit even if it feels a bit tight overall.
If nothing through there works out, check ski swaps for used boots and pick up something for under $100 bucks that appears to be in decent condition and has a flex rating of 65-90. Again, shell fit is your key tool here. The liners in the used boots may be a bit packed out already so the initial feel might be closer to the shell fit. Take someone who knows something about boots and skiing if you have access to such a person, but even people who ski a lot often don't know a lot about boot fit, so read up here.
Be happy with the boots you got for a while. You've skied twice. Use them to get a bit better and if you don't like them, but love the sport, sell them on Craigslist (during ski season with good photos). If the boots were reasonably inexpensive to start, you'll likely only lose 25-100 bucks which you'll likely have made up by not having had to get rentals in the meantime. If by then you've decided you want to ski all the time as one of your passions in life, then spend hundreds and hundreds on boots.
So that would be my heretical advice. Boot fit is super important, but in my mind, it isn't quite as hard as some people believe, particularly for beginner boots if you have the size right, and I just don't think that going into debt (or even just overspending if you have limited resources) over a pair of ski boots after you've skied twice is a good idea.